On February 15, 2019, 45 year-old Gary Montez Martin brought a handgun he legally purchased to his manufacturing job at a Henry Pratt Co. factory in Aurora, Illinois. Martin had faced disciplinary action on the job and knew he was going to be fired. Right after a termination meeting, he opened fire, killing five co-workers and injuring another. He then injured five responding law enforcement officers before they were able to kill him.
After the mass shooting, it was revealed that Martin was a convicted felon who nonetheless obtained a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) in Illinois in 2014. He cleared two subsequent background checks to buy guns.
Now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has produced a report that diagnoses flaws in Illinois’ FOID card system and offers important recommendations that can block violent people from buying guns in states across the country. One key finding is that licensing systems for gun owners are far more effective in screening out violent applicants when they involve in-person applications at law enforcement agencies and fingerprinting, The report details emerging data showing the efficacy of licensing in reducing firearm-related mortality and illicit interstate trafficking.
It’s time for state and federal legislators to offer real solutions when it comes to keeping guns of the wrong hands. Please help spread the word about evidence-based gun licensing policy by sharing news about the Johns Hopkins’ report on social media:
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